Elon Musk’s First Wife, Dubbed the ‘Starter Wife’,

Elon Musk’s First Wife, Dubbed the ‘Starter Wife’,

Elon Musk Tesla

Elon Musk, among the richest men in the world, is a name synonymous with groundbreaking technological endeavors, including Tesla Inc.’s electric vehicles, SpaceX’s space exploration missions and Neuralink Corp.’s brain-computer interface projects.

While his new biography provides a detailed account of his professional journey, there’s another story, equally riveting, that delves into his personal life — a tale narrated by his first wife, Justine Musk.

Justine is not just Elon’s ex-wife but also an accomplished author. She penned a raw and evocative account titled “I Was a Starter Wife” in Marie Claire, revealing the intricacies of their romance, the challenges they faced and the dynamics that led to divorce.

Their story began when they attended Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada. Justine, an aspiring writer, met Elon, an upper-class boy with a South African accent. Their initial interaction was a miscommunication about having met at a party. But Elon, persistent as ever, eventually caught Justine’s attention. They began dating and, despite going their separate ways for a while, reunited when Elon moved to Silicon Valley.

During their time together, Elon’s fortunes began to rise. He cofounded Zip2 Corp., which significantly increased his wealth after its sale. The transition from struggling entrepreneur to multimillionaire brought about significant changes in their relationship. Before their wedding in January 2000, Elon wanted Justine to sign a financial agreement, which she did, not fully grasping its implications at the time.

The complexity of their relationship intensified post-wedding. Elon’s self-proclaimed alpha status overshadowed Justine’s voice. She often felt treated more like an employee than a wife and repeatedly told her husband, “I am your wife.”

Elon’s response was chillingly dismissive. “If you were my employee, I would fire you,” he said.

Their lives underwent a significant shift after the sale of PayPal Holdings Inc. to eBay Inc. in 2002. The acquisition dramatically increased Elon’s net worth. The windfall coincided tragically with the death of their 10-week-old son Nevada Alexander from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Justine recalls the traumatic event, describing how she held Nevada in her arms during his final moment.

Elon’s response to the tragedy was to withdraw. He avoided discussing Nevada’s death, deeming Justine’s open grieving as “emotionally manipulative.” In an effort to cope, Justine quickly embarked on a quest to become pregnant again. Over the next five years, she gave birth to twins and then triplets. Alongside this, she pursued her literary ambitions, selling novels to renowned publishers.

Life was, by all external measures, luxurious. From a 6,000-square-foot house in Bel Air Hills and elite Hollywood nightclubs to private jets and intimate gatherings with celebrities like Bono and John Cusack, they were living a dream. Yet, it was a life in which Justine felt increasingly alienated. Elon, ever engrossed in his work, became emotionally distant. Conversations turned contentious, with Elon dismissing Justine’s literary dreams and aspirations.

Justine was involved in a car accident. Her first thought wasn’t relief from injury but fear of Elon’s reaction. The realization struck: she had become a trophy wife, a role she felt ill-equipped for. Elon’s persistent suggestions for her to go platinum blonde served as a metaphor for the growing chasm in their relationship — a chasm she no longer wished to bridge.

The couple turned to counseling. However, Elon’s assertive nature dominated once more. He set a daunting ultimatum: resolve their issues within a day. When this didn’t materialize, Elon filed for divorce the following morning.

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